Obituaries 306 results

Mass, celebration of life planned later this month for Sheila Goold, 1963-2017

Family and friends will gather in memory of Sheila M. Goold on July 27th and July 29th. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with the community:

Sheila M. Goold passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Sheila was born on December 16, 1963, in Seoul, Korea, daughter to John F. Goold and his first wife, Anne. Her father was remarried to Mary C. MacGinty in 1966.

Sheila is survived by her parents John and Mary; sister Marianne (Stephen), brother Des (Sara), nieces and nephews Marissa, Kenley, Erin, Emily, and Liam. She also leaves behind a large, extended family and many dear friends. She is predeceased by her sister Anna and biological mother Anne (1964) and her beloved canine companion, Winnie.

Sheila was a stylish, vibrant soul and a dedicated copywriter, consultant and administrator to a wide range of businesses over the years. She was an accomplished actress both in Seattle’s local arts community and in L.A, with numerous stage, film, and advertising credits. Sheila was passionate about animals, especially dogs, and both owned and contributed to businesses dedicated to the care and nurturing of them.

A Catholic mass will be held in dedication to Sheila at 9:00 am Thursday, July 27, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle. Additionally, a less formal Celebration of Life Open House will be held Saturday, July 29, at 4730 California Ave SW from 3:30-6:30 pm. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Please, please RSVP to (262) 352-6469 (text or call).

If anyone wishes, the family suggests a donation in Sheila’s honor to a local animal charity.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Janet M. Had, 1934-2017

Family and friends are remembering Janet Had, and sharing this tribute with the community:

Janet M. Had – 1934 to 2017 – a terrific woman

Born in 1934 to Shirley and Lester Bannister, Janet was a lifelong Seattle resident. Raised primarily on Queen Anne and Capitol Hill, she was a West Seattle resident for the past 60-some years. Married in 1956 to Josef Had, until his death in 1977. Janet was one of the first women in management at the Seattle Federal Reserve Bank. When it was suggested to Janet that she might want to check out the TV series Mad Men because of the depiction of women working in a man’s world back in the day, she replied that she had lived through that time period and had no nostalgic reminiscences about the era. After Josef’s death, Janet met Richard Pelley and they enjoyed a long-term committed relationship until his death in the mid 1990s.

Janet had fond memories of spending time at Point No Point with Richard and his daughters Karen (Hull) and Tracey (Fossum) and their families. Along with time spent at Point No Point, over the years, Janet also enjoyed Toastmasters, gambling junkets to Reno, senior aerobics classes (both attending and instructing), happy hours with her friends, and of course, following progressive politics. Janet was especially dismayed by the current trend in politics to attempt the undoing of decades of progress in the realm of women’s rights, civil rights and social justice.

After a recent diagnosis with a fast-moving illness, Janet’s family and her physicians honored her wishes to forego invasive treatment and she passed peacefully in her own home on the morning of June 15, 2017. Janet is survived by her daughter Marianne and son in law, Steve, as well as cousins, nephews and good friends. No traditional services are being held per Janet’s request. A celebration of life (a Wake!) is to be scheduled for a future date here in her beloved West Seattle. If you wish to honor Janet’s memory, please consider a donation to Planned Parenthood.

Please share memories of Janet on the online guestbook at emmickfunerals.com

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial gathering next month for Derek Grasso, 1961-2017

Family and friends will gather August 19th to remember Derek Grasso. Here’s the remembrance his wife Michele is sharing with the community:

Derek Grasso was a blinding light filled with unconditional compassion and knowledge. He touched many throughout Seattle and beyond in his time on this earth. He never judged, he lived without guilt, and accepted anyone in their truth. He helped many strangers with advice and acceptance. He was the person that counseled the homeless instead of turning his head. He was the stranger you met on the bus that very well may have changed your life.

Derek passed away suddenly this February from a major heart attack; he was surrounded by love while the medics tried to save him, but tragically he passed away en route to Harborview Medical Center.

Derek moved from Boston to Seattle in 1997 with his best friend Jenna. Derek and Jenna came to a new state and new beginning together like explorers. His wild and adventurous spirit was always something that could leave you in the wind if you weren’t brave enough to face the unknown. He often rode the city’s transit system, wandered and explored the city; he made many friends and acquaintances helping all of them along the way.

Derek met his wife, Michele Grasso, at West Seattle Thriftway shortly after he moved to Seattle. Though his past was much like an unbelievable story, the meeting of his future wife was much like a fairy tale filled with romance and uncertainty, eventually leading to a union of hearts and souls the world could envy.

Derek is survived by his most beloved, an elusive ghost of a lover and eventually, the greatest love of all, Michele Grasso. His most important compatriot of experience and friendship, Jenna Oliver. A wild and knowing spirit that always challenged, Louise Rutherford, a sweet little cat named Kali who was his everyday buddy, and the hundreds of souls encountered that were changed for the better simply because they met him and were able to hear his words.

A memorial gathering is scheduled for August 19th at Lincoln Park in West Seattle. Please contact Michele Grasso (kitapunk [at] hotmail.com) for additional information, including exact location and time.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Celebration of life July 23 for Gavin Keefe, 1985-2017

Family and friends of Gavin Keefe are gathering later this month to celebrate his life, and also having special items made in tribute. Here’s the announcement:

Gavin D. Keefe, 31, died June 23, 2017 as a result of a cardiac arrest.

He was born on August 30th, 1985, in Yakima, the son of Daniel Keefe and Wendy Wood.

He worked with the Libertarian Party of Washington State and had recently started Liberty Industries screen printing business. Gavin was an active member of his community and a loyal friend to all that knew him. He was passionate, hilarious, and a genuine person who left an unforgettable experience to everyone who met him.

We will be having a celebration of life for Gavin Keefe on Sunday, July 23rd at the Swiftwater Cellars in Suncadia from 1-4 pm. Everyone that knew Gavin is welcome to come and share their memories with other friends and family members.



We are making the items listed below for everyone that is interested. Please fill out the link so we can track the orders. Deadline for orders is Monday, July 10th at 5 pm. If you would like one of these items but cannot make the memorial, please contact Erin Zuncs (ezuncs@gmail.com) to arrange pickup or shipping. 



1. Shot glasses that say “I’m friends with this guy” with his photo
2. Shirt that says “I’m friends with this guy” with his photo (possibly in black and white)

3. Shirt with his Liberty Industries logo on a black shirt


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Yakima Humane Society.


(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial service June 24 for Susan G. Moore, 1956-2016

A memorial service is planned on June 24th for Susan G. Moore, whose family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Susan Gay Moore, 60, of Seattle, passed away at home on December 19, 2016.

Susan Geary, affectionately called Sue or Susie, was born on March 7, 1956. She was the third child, and second daughter, born to Gerald and Mildred Geary.
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Susan held many jobs, from working at Skippers, to Kmart and Sears. She finally found her for-ever job, at Larson-Juhl. There, she performed many duties, including billing and picking mats, as well has working in the chops department.

Susan loved to read. When she wasn’t busy working, or spending time with family, she could often be found with a book in her hand. Most weekends were spent at the library, where she would check out at least 5 books; only to read them all in days.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Mark Edward Moore.

She is survived by her three children: Eric (Hopper), Danielle (Ellis), and Kelsey (Moore); three grandchildren: Ynez (Hopper), Damon (Hopper) and Holly (Ellis), as well as two brothers and four sisters.

Susan was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She is greatly missed and will never be forgotten.

A celebration of life is being held for Susan on June 24th from 2-5 P.M. at the May’s Pond Clubhouse 17730 Brook Blvd. Bothell. Parking is located across the street.

She went kicking and screaming!

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Lorraine C. Foster, 1930-2017

Family and friends will honor Lorraine C. Foster with a funeral mass and burial next Friday (June 2nd) and a celebration of life on June 10th. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Lorraine Cecilia Foster, 86, passed away peacefully at home on May 23, 2017, in White Center (known to her as West Seattle). She was born on June 3, 1930, in Rolla, North Dakota. Lorraine was preceded in death by her son, Michael Dale Foster, and her sisters, Muriel Pearson, Doris Gardner, Aurora Skelton, Juliette Pearson, and Neoma Jones, and brother Joseph Garceau. She is survived by her husband Harold Dale Foster; her son Jeff and daughter Sue; her grandchildren Kara, Amanda, Matthew, and Mark; her brothers, Bill Garceau, Lloyd Garceau, Jim Garceau; and numerous cousins.

Born to Willie and Anna Garceau and raised on a farm in North Dakota, she was one of ten siblings. She had the most wonderful stories of her time growing up there. She moved to Seattle with her sisters Doris and Aurora to be with their sister Mert (Muriel), who moved to Seattle in 1945. Lorraine started work at Sears & Roebuck in mail order as a Biller in 1947 and stayed at Sears until the mail-order plant closed in 1987.

She met Harold Foster through her sister Aurora in 1948. They had a double wedding with her sister Muriel and Keith (Bud) Pearson, in 1950 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle. They had three children – Michael, Jeff, and Suzette. They purchased their home in 1961 and would go on to live there for 56 years, with many family gatherings filling the home to the brim with laughter and wonderful memories.

Harold and Lorraine, parishioners at Holy Family Church, had their children attend Holy Family School, as well as their granddaughter, Kara, and many other cousins.

They went on to purchase camping property at Lake Trask Timber Trails in 1975 with many other Sears & Boeing families. Camping was a joy and an extension of their home. They made many friends over the years and the family would go on to create many more memories there. Her sweets were notorious amongst her grandchildren and their friends; her “hockey pucks,” the most famous of all.

Her funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 2nd, at 10 am at Holy Family Catholic Church in White Center, located at 9622 20th Ave SW; her burial is to follow at noon at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery, 350 Monroe Ave NE, Renton. Her celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 10th, from 2-5 pm at the White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW.

In lieu of gifts, please make a donation to Providence Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Carl H. Kroll, 1910-2017


Family and friends are remembering Carl H. Kroll, noting that he was “one of the oldest and longest residents of West Seattle,” and sharing this recounting of his life:

Carl H. Kroll left us peacefully on April 19, a month short of his 107th birthday.

He was born in West Seattle to German immigrants in 1910, and started school at Gatewood Elementary. In 1920, the family went to visit relatives in Ahrensburg, Germany, and ended up staying for ten years when his father became involved helping Quakers feed the children after WWI.

In 1930, Carl moved back to the US, first to Philadelphia, where he got a job at a small valve manufacturing plant. After two years, he joined his father in the business of importing lily-of-the-valley flowers, which included numerous trips between the US and Germany.

In 1934, he married his childhood friend from Ahrensburg, Erna K. Dammann, and they moved back to West Seattle along with his parents, returning to the same block he had grown up on. Together they built their two houses side by side overlooking Puget Sound, where they happily spent the rest of their lives.

From 1938 until retiring in 1970, Carl worked for the Pomerelle Wine Company, which ultimately became part of Chateau Ste. Michelle. But, wishing for a more independent employment and to expose his two sons to a more rural life, he established the family raspberry farm in the late 1940s in Kitsap County. Until the early ‘70s, he and Erna, and often their sons, Carl G. and Detlev, spent most weekends in its operation.

Right up until the very end, Carl retained a sound and capable mind, and was fascinated to discuss such things as computers, cell phones, and driverless cars. He would often say, when we were stuck for an answer, “look it up on your phone.”

Carl was a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a wonderful role model and was a firm believer in staying active and engaged. After retirement, he kept busy with many projects, including teaching himself to weave, building playhouses for his grandchildren and numerous pieces of furniture, researching his family tree, and writing his history. Even as a centenarian, he remained active by continuing to make Christmas wreaths for sale in the West Seattle neighborhood and the raspberry-farm-now-turned-Christmas-tree-farm near Poulsbo.

He was loved by all family and friends who knew him and will be greatly missed. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Erna in 2007, and his four siblings, Irma, Meta, Edna, and Gilbert. He is survived by their two sons: Carl G. (Linda) and Detlev (Gale); four grandchildren: Carl B. (Vicky), William, Renate and Alden (Meghan); three great-grandchildren: Xabrina, Carl E. and Ronan, and numerous nieces and nephews. A private service is planned.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial service May 20 for Capt. Delbert Kelly, Jr., 1940-2017

May 12, 2017 9:55 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends will gather May 20th to remember Capt. Delbert Kelly, Jr. Here is the remembrance being shared with the community:

Capt. Delbert J. Kelly Jr. peacefully went home with the Lord on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at St Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 76 years of age and a resident of Tacoma.

Capt. Kelly was born on September 17, 1940 to Capt. Delbert Sr. and Hazel Kelly at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle. He was an only child. He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1958 and soon after began his career as a professional mariner, following in the footsteps of his father. He spent his early career transiting along the west coast from Alaska to California before settling down in Puget Sound where he worked for the WA State Ferries and then Crowley Maritime. Capt. Kelly became a Puget Sound Pilot in 1979 and reluctantly medically retired in 2002. He remained actively involved in the industry by transitioning into the role of an educator at Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle, WA. He was a mentor to a great many in both his personal and professional life.

Capt. Kelly took great pride in his career and lived other areas of life to the fullest. His greatest joy was staying busy helping others; placing himself second to his family and loved ones. In his free time, he was an avid golfer and Seattle team sports fan. Attending the Mariners’ spring training in AZ was one of the highlights of his year. He also loved spending time at Emerald Downs where he had an owner partnership of several race horses. His beloved life companion, an Amazon Parrot, Meka, was the light of his home. Capt. Kelly’s relationship with the Lord was very important to him and he was an active member of Highline Christian Church for several years.

He will be remembered for his love for his family and friends, his charm, his intelligence, and his pocket full of witty phrases. He brought a smile to so many faces so often and many will dearly miss him.

Capt. Kelly is survived by his children: Capt. Patrick Kelly (Brynne), Lani Witherby (David), and Kristi Sacco (Scott). Grandsons: Tim, Ryan, Shaun Jr., Dylan, JT, and Blake. Granddaughters: Kenzie, Faith, Kali, and Moriah. He was preceded in death by his parents in 1981 and his son, Shaun Kelly, in 1997.

Memorial service will be held at Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home, 11111 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, on Saturday, May 20th, 2017, at 1 PM.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial procession planned for James Murphy on May 21st

From Corina at Admiral Bird:

On April 30th, we lost a member of our Admiral Family, James Murphy.

On Sunday, May 21st, at 4:00 pm, we are going to meet at the Admiral Bird on the corner of California and Admiral where we will have a slideshow, food, and drinks. Here is where people will be able to share their words and hearts.

At 5:00ish, we will begin the procession from Admiral Bird to Hamilton Viewpoint Park. This way we walk the streets he walked, past his home at “the James,” and end with a view of our beautiful city. There will be live marching music and everyone is encouraged to wear bright colors, dance, and fill the walk with love and revelry.

As the date gets closer, you can check for updates here.

Memorial service May 11 for John Daniel Walters, Jr., 1943-2017

May 5, 2017 4:43 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends will gather May 11th to remember John Daniel Walters, Jr. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with the community:

John (Danny) Daniel Walters, Jr., age 74, passed away Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at Highline Hospital after suffering a stroke.

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on February 5, 1943, to John and Mattie Walters. John lived in Texas until he entered the Navy in 1962. He served as a Radioman on the USS Graffias until honorably discharged in 1966. John then married Janet Marie Gould and together they raised a family in Seattle, where he worked as a pipefitter at Todd Shipyard.

John is survived by his wife of 50 years, Janet Walters; children Stacie and Ty; granddaughter Danielle, and grandsons Timmy, Patrick, Justin, and Alex; and sister, Sherry. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bobby and grandson Mikey. He loved playing the role of “Papa” to his grandchildren including Zeek and great grandson Jerimyah. John was a Family man first, always lending a helping hand and giving advice wherever he could. He went out of his way to touch the lives of everyone around him and will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Service will be held May 11, 1 pm, at Tahoma National Cemetery.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Celebration of life Sunday for Gladys M. Herreid, 1925-2017

May 4, 2017 8:16 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

The life of Gladys M. Herreid will be celebrated this Sunday. Here’s the remembrance her loved ones are sharing with the community:

Gladys M. Herreid of West Seattle, 92, passed peacefully at home on April 29, 2017. She leaves a legacy of deep faith, strength, wonder, laughter, and a celebration of all creation through artistic expressions.

Gladys attended the University of Puget Sound. She was a nursing-home activities director, writer, painter, sculptor, and chorister. An active member of Seaview United Methodist Church for 50 years, she served as a NOMAD missionary before joining Admiral Congregational, UCC. Gladys enjoyed local and world travel, always exuding a sense of wonder and awe.

She will be greatly missed by her children: Bonnie Gwinn (Robert), Joyce Beals, Vini Nielson (Don), and Marni Herreid, along with her brother John Jones (Allen) and sister Janet Miller (Bob), 10 grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. We rejoice in her reunion with beloved husband Ardean, daughter Natalie, sisters Helen and Marian, and parents John Herbert and Agnes Cooper Jones of Montana.

A celebration of life will be held at The Kenney on Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mary’s Place or The Kenney Foundation.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Patricia Anne Juhl, 1933-2017

Family and friends are remembering Patricia Anne Juhl, and sharing this tribute with the community:

Patricia Anne Juhl passed away at Harborview Medical Center on April 30, 2017.

She is survived by her five children: Laura, Frederick, Andrew, Christopher and Thomas. She was preceded in death by her husband of 31 years, Frederick, in 1992. She was the daughter of William and Gertrude Daiber, and sister to Peggy Daiber, all of whom also preceded her in death.

Patricia was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and relocated to Alaska in 1952. She moved in 1959 to Seattle, where she gave birth to Laura and met her future husband, Frederick. Patricia and family moved in 1982 to West Seattle, where they still maintain two residences to this day. Patricia was the driving force of unity in her family through financial difficulties and saw to it that all of her children were well taken care of. Patricia worked for Catholic Community Services in Seattle from 1983-2004, when she became primary caregiver for her ailing son.

Patricia was a great inspiration to all who met her and will be greatly missed by all. Mourners are encouraged to post messages here or onto the the Facebook page of Christopher Juhl (ChristopherLisa JuhlHirsch) A memorial will be held in a few weeks. All who would like to attend are encouraged to.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial tomorrow for Kathie Delaney Nielsen, 1959-2017

May 3, 2017 3:55 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

A funeral Mass is planned tomorrow in West Seattle to celebrate the life of Kathie Delaney Nielsen, 58. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing with the community:

Kathie was born in Spokane on February 12, 1959, the youngest of four daughters of Thomas P. and Dorothy Delaney. The family moved to West Seattle when Kathie was 8, and she graduated from Holy Rosary Elementary and Holy Names High School. Kathie worked at the Seattle Times, first as a messenger, then in the circulation department as a receptionist and a district advisor, where she made lifelong friends, and where she met her future husband John Nielsen.

Kathie loved singing and playing her guitar. Family parties centered around her playing and singing John Denver songs for all her sisters, brothers-in-law, Mom, Dad, nieces, cousins, and friends. She had an incredible sense of humor and she and her favorite cousin Mark would entertain us for hours with their crazy skits, and later with her husband, John, keep us laughing with their clever banter.

She was outgoing, loving, welcoming to everyone she met, and cared deeply about helping people. Kathie adored her husband John, and her son Lucas was the light of her life. Lucas’s daughter Kendall brought such joy to them all and was the centerpiece of their life from the moment she entered it.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, John, son Lucas & granddaughter Kendall, her three sisters, Patty (Chuck) Lutz, Chris Hanley, and Sue (John) Stine, Jim Hanley, her nieces Jennifer Vike Hanson, Charlotta Jackson, Jeannine Manuel, Jamie Hanley, Maureen Lutz, Jessica Greene, Erin Lutz, Delana Newell and nephew Kenny Nielsen, and her Zappone cousins. A funeral mass will be held in celebration of her life on Thursday, May 4th, at 11 AM at Holy Rosary in West Seattle. Donations may be made in Kathie’s name to the charity of your choice.

Kathie left us far too soon and we will all miss her until we are with her again.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial planned May 19th for Janis B. Gedney, 1952-2017

April 20, 2017 9:00 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Family and friends will gather on Friday, May 19th, to remember Jan Gedney. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Jan was born and raised in West Seattle and attended the University of Washington. She was an incredible artist, avid football fan, and musician. She was exceptionally intelligent, witty, imaginative, and loved to laugh—unable to ever pass up an impromptu game of word play or jump into comedic sing song. She was generous, thoughtful, loved life, people, and animals. She brought joy to all who knew her.

Jan passed away at her home in Silverton, Oregon. She is preceded in death by her parents Asa and Betty (Greenman) Gedney and sister Mary (Gedney) McClane. She leaves behind her brother Mike Gedney and his wife Arlene; her nephew Mike McClane and his wife Jennifer Stephens; her niece Shawn (McClane) Williams and her husband Brian; grand nephews and nieces Jason, Tide, Tally, Elly, and Cash, their children; and many extended family members and dear friends.

A memorial service will be held May 19th at 2 pm at West Side Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Ave SW. Reception following.

Jan’s family encourages donations in her memory to the American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org). With each donation, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in a recently damaged national forest.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Merrilee Hagen, 1943-2017

As family and friends remember Merrilee Hagen, this obituary provided by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society explains her legacy for the entire community:

The longtime West Seattle resident who sparked acquisition of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki has died.

Merrilee Ann Blackinton Hagen, a former board president of the historical society, a longtime real-estate broker and a prolific painter of local scenes, had been recovering from lymphoma when she died of a massive stroke on Sunday, April 9, 2017, in her home across from her alma mater, West Seattle High School. She was 73.

“Merrilee is one of the giants in our organizational history,” said Clay Eals, executive director of the historical society. “The impact of Merrilee on our organization was wide-ranging, but easily her most enduring contribution was her vision and action to acquire our museum.”

Merrilee served as board president in 1994 and 1995 when the organization was meeting and storing items at then-South Seattle Community College and was looking for a permanent headquarters of its own.

As a broker who “knew West Seattle like the back of her hand,” Eals said, she learned that the 1904 log home at 3003 61st Ave. SW was for sale and might be razed or moved. The building, one of the last three log structures on Alki, originally served as the carriage house for the nearby Fir Lodge, which became the Alki Homestead restaurant.

On behalf of the historical society, Merrilee immediately began to organize a campaign to purchase the building by securing a portion of mitigation funds offered by Metro as part of a West Seattle sewage-pipeline project. Volunteers worked the phones from her real-estate office, calling residents of Alki and Beach Drive, encouraging them to vote for the acquisition, which would be the first step in restoring and opening the building as a community-history museum.

The campaign was successful, and after extensive fundraising and exhibit preparation by Merrilee and other volunteers, the museum opened on Nov. 13, 1997, the 146th anniversary of the arrival of the Alki Landing Party. The museum will mark its 20th anniversary this fall.

Merrilee tells the museum acquisition story in this four-minute video from the Nov. 14, 2015, annual meeting of the historical society held at High Point Library:

In recent years, Merrilee regularly attended the historical society’s Champagne Gala Brunch and contributed her unique paintings of the Alki Lighthouse, the Alki Homestead and other icons as auction items. Her painting of the Historic Admiral Theater was part of an auction package at the 2016 Gala last Nov. 5 and was presented to the winners, Maryanne Tagney and David Jones, at the grand-reopening celebration of the theater one month ago on March 22.

A one-eighth member of the Samish Indian Nation, Merrilee was born to Chester and Shirley Blackinton on July 15, 1943, in Bellingham, the second child of four. She lived on Orcas Island until age 4, when her family moved to downtown Seattle then, one year later, to a West Seattle beach house at 59th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Carroll Street, across from the original one-room Alki schoolhouse.

She attended Alki Elementary School, and as a third-grader one of her highlights was attending the 1951 ceremonial celebration of the Alki pioneer landing. (In later years, she delighted in discovering her signature in the guest book at the Alki Lighthouse from when her Girl Scout troop visited there in 1953.)

After attending then-Madison Junior High School, she graduated from West Seattle High in 1961. In high-school years, she served as a “candy striper” volunteer, operating elevators at Seattle Hospital.

She briefly studied commercial art at Edison Art College downtown. In 1963 at age 19, she married Oscar Hagen Jr., a Navy veteran and Boeing office and computer worker, and they lived in the north Admiral and Seaview neighborhoods.

Merrilee gave birth to their only child, Melissa, in 1969, and her family welcomed long-term stays from relatives and friends in subsequent homes in the Highland Park and Arbor Heights neighborhoods.

After working briefly in the shipping department at Sears downtown, Merrilee was a full-time mom, busying herself with projects such as canning garden produce and painting the faces of Raggedy Ann dolls made by her grandmother.

Merrilee and Oscar divorced in 1982, and she moved to Marguerite Court on Alki. With her moves, she had developed an interest in real estate, starting a career in 1977 as a broker for Evan Carlson Realty on California Avenue and opening a realty business with Karis Malagon near 35th Avenue and SW Alaska Street.

She further developed interests in gardening and painting while transitioning to work for high-school classmate and West Seattle broker Rich Bianchi in the Junction and later for John L. Scott and moving to a succession of homes south of the Junction, in Burien, on Beach Drive, across from Lincoln Park, behind the Admiral Theater, and to a home west of the Junction to care for her mother.

Her watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings filled every wall of her homes and hung in her real-estate offices, and her coordination of home tours for the historical society in the 1990s and early 2000s prompted her to create themed poster paintings for those events.

Merrilee retired as a broker in 2005 while battling Crohn’s disease. Following her mother’s death, she moved to lower Queen Anne and, two years ago, to the Island View apartment complex across from West Seattle High School.

Besides her devotion to West Seattle and the historical society, Merrilee was known for her keen memory and low-key sense of humor (one of her maxims was “Never pass up a good straight line”) and for staying in touch with and taking care of family and friends.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Melissa and Terry Cooper, of Highland Park; siblings Linda Blackinton, Daniel Blackinton, and Eileen Addison of Seattle; and ex-husband Oscar Hagen of SeaTac.

Her ashes will be scattered near the family home in the Guemes Channel north of Anacortes, and there will be no public memorial service. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will host a time of remembrance for Merrilee during its annual Independence Day picnic from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in the museum courtyard.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Craig K. Coach, West Seattle HS Class of 1968

Family and friends have said goodbye to Craig K. Coach, and are sharing this remembrance with the community:

Craig Koch Coach died this morning (April 15th) after a short battle with cancer.

He leaves behind his loving wife Mary; his sister Karen (Bill) Smitherman of Tacoma; his brother Chuck (Lynnette) of Albuquerque, NM. Preceding in death are his parents Ray Sr. and Laura Jean Coach, and his brother Ray Coach, Jr.

Craig graduated from West Seattle High School, Class of ’68, and the University of Washington. He loved his time with his poker buddies, “Go Class of ’68!”

The family sincerely thanks the help of Providence Hospice staff for their compassion and understanding.

At Craig’s request, there will be no services. Memorials can be made to the West Seattle Alumni Association or Providence Hospice Seattle.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Memorial gathering April 22 for Jennifer Jennings

Even if you didn’t know Jennifer Jennings, you might have seen her with her dog, out for a walk on Alki. Friends and family will gather on Saturday, April 22nd, to remember her, and are sharing this remembrance/invitation:

West Seattle lost its beloved Jennifer Jennings on March 22. She was 68.

She and her sweet little dog “Mr. Bean” walked along Alki Beach daily & could be found afterward amongst community at Tully’s Coffee across from the Alki Bathhouse.

Jennifer taught art classes for many years at the Alki Bathhouse and along with “Mr. Bean” was one of Alki’s & West Seattle’s adored locals.

Come celebrate her life with your stories & memories, along with “Mr. Bean,” at:

When: Saturday, April 22, 11:00 A.M.

Where: St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California SW in West Seattle.

There will be a 2:00 P.M. reception at Tully’s Coffee @ Alki Beach, 2676 Alki SW, across from the Alki Bathhouse.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Shirley Ann Shepard, 1931-2017

Family and friends have said goodbye to Shirley Ann Shepard, and are sharing this remembrance with her community:

Shirley Ann (Leach) Shepard, 85, of West Seattle, passed away peacefully at home on March 31st, 2017. Born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, on November 5th, 1931, Shirley moved to Seattle in 1952. Shirley’s caring presence touched the lives of many while working at the Admiral Way Safeway Store. After her retirement in 1997, Shirley continued playing bingo, enjoyed watching golf, reading, crossword puzzles, playing cards, and cooking for her family and friends. She was a beautiful woman, wonderful Mother who everyone gravitated toward.

As a young girl growing up in the Midwest, Shirley enjoyed many things. Some of her fondest memories were from living in Grafton, North Dakota, 1935-1945, and Fargo, 1945-1952.

Shirley would talk of her Mother’s cooking and how she never used a cookbook. The smell of her fresh-baked bread and her stew was the best. Memories of learning to drive Harold’s Buick, ice skating on the Red River, sledding and cross-country skiing – with snow being abundant, the best part of all, everything was free!

Living in Fargo, Shirley went to school at St. Anthony’s, Agazzi Middle School, and Fargo High School. While attending school she had several different jobs – Piggly Wiggly, Red Owl, and Dutch Maid, just to name a few.

Our Mom – Shirley, we were so blessed to have one the most wonderful women on this earth as our mother.

Not only was she a mother of four, Shirley was a second mom to so many people outside our family. Shirley treated everyone she met with kindness and compassion, and touched the hearts of those around her. Everyone was invited into her home, and there was always an extra helping to give. Her door was always open to anyone who needed help. She took in friends in time of need with no questions asked – just her generosity, love, and support to give. She handled the issues at home with love and understanding, never in anger, and would always give comfort while teaching a good lesson learned.

To say she was organized would be an understatement. Her home was spotless at all times, meticulously cleaned and arranged to perfection. She instilled that same trait into most of us.

At work, Shirley kept the same standards; she took care of every customer like the ultimate caregiver she was. Shirley served as the Safeway Employees Association (SEA) president for years, organizing functions and meetings for her beloved Safeway family.

As a mom, she always put her children first; even in tough times, she had money for bowling, golf rounds or a trip to the hobby shop to race, Legos, Barbie dolls for girls, and the latest 45 records.

At home, there was always a treat baked (crazy cake, cookies), Jello in the fridge, and a candy drawer fully stocked. She made sure our favorite treat was in ready supply. The neighbor kids and friends would come over and make a beeline to the candy drawer to see what treat awaited them.

Shirley was the taxi service for the boys and their teammates, taking them to baseball games or practice, to the bowling center for Saturday-morning league, and all the other sporting events or functions. She loved to play cards with the family – gin rummy, pinochle, cribbage or Skip-Bo, just to name a few. Trips to Birch Bay were a summertime ritual for the family, her favorite vacation destination to gather with our friends. Shirley didn’t mind sitting in on the occasional poker game with her sons when she came home from work, and she always won even if she wasn’t trying to. Shirley was blessed that way.

Shirley loved to give, always having time for her neighbors at her home and the apartment building which she called home for 15 years. Shirley enjoyed fixing extra meals or sending care packages to her neighbors. Shirley had so much fun with her friends on the senior bus trips to the casinos. She loved Keno and Copper Dropper!

Shirley enjoyed music. The Bee Gees were her favorite. To stay current with her children’s music tastes, she would watch MTV back in the ’80s. Later in life, she loved to watch golf and follow her favorite players. Tiger Woods and Fred Couples were at the top of the list.

Shirley would start her day with a pot of Yuban coffee, Columbo, and Matlock. She also enjoyed working her word search puzzles while she watched all the Hallmark shows, Turner Classic Movies, and various shows on Food Network. The simple things in life was all she needed to enjoy each and every day.

On her last day, we were all there to share in her passing. Hand-in-hand and in prayer, she was taken to the heavens, to share her love with family and friends who have preceded her. We couldn’t have hoped for a more beautiful passage.

We, her children, have a tough task ahead following in our mother’s footsteps, raising the bar of humanity to the highest standards. We will do our best to honor her every day, by the example she set – KINDNESS, CARING, LOVING, COMPASSION, AND, GIVING.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Emma Leach. Shirley is survived by her children Mike (Sue), Pat, Carolyn, and Deanna (Terry); brother Veron Useldinger; sister Joyce Rivinius; and brother Marvin Leach. She is also survived by three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. At her request, a small private memorial and dinner gathering was held April 9th, 2017. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to www.alivingtribute.org: Your plant-a-tree gift in memory of Shirley Shepard will support reforestation efforts in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Condolences may be made at her online obituary.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering John Prentice, 1925-2017

A celebration of life is planned April 21st for John Prentice, whose family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

On the morning of March 30, 2017, John Prentice packed up his tools, grabbed his saxophone and a handful of tulips, and headed for greener pastures. John’s 91 years ended after a mercifully short battle with cancer, but he met every day to his last with humor, kindness, and curiosity.

John was one of 5 brothers born in Portland, OR, and upon early graduation from high school, enlisted in the Navy and served in WWII as a radioman on ships in the South Pacific. After his discharge, he graduated from Portland University with an engineering degree, was quickly hired by The Boeing Company, and moved to West Seattle to start his family.

He outlived two wives — Mary, who passed in 1986, and Ava, who passed in 2013 — but never lost his ready smile, his drive to understand the world around him, and his joy in sharing his knowledge with anyone willing to learn.

He is survived by his 3 children — John Jr., Mary, and Paul; 3 grandchildren — Brianna, Shandra, and Ian; and 2 great-grandchildren — Miles and Lucy.

A celebration of his life will be held in the Pigott Chapel at Providence Mount St. Vincent on Friday, April 21st at 1:00 pm. Remembrances can be made to The Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation in West Seattle.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Mary Anderson, 107, who co-founded REI in West Seattle

Almost 80 years after Mary Anderson and her husband Lloyd Anderson co-founded what became outdoor giant REI in their Gatewood home, she has died at the age of 107. We obtained the photo above from REI, whose past presidents Dennis Madsen, Sally Jewell (also a West Seattleite), and Wally Smith are shown with Ms. Anderson at her centennial-birthday celebration. The company’s statement on her passing:

Mary’s legacy is deeply engrained in REI and her contributions to the outdoor community extend far beyond the co-op. REI and our employees are grateful to the Andersons for their dedication to REI and the incredible foundation they established. It is our honor to carry on their commitment more than 75 years later and beyond.

Mary Anderson and her husband also were Mountaineers; she was just 20 when they joined the club in 1929. The Mountaineers website tells her story, including how their quest to make it easier to get good-quality climbing gear led them to create the buyers’ cooperative that became REI, from which she retired in 1968. For years, their home in west Gatewood was headquarters to what is now a multibillion-dollar company. That house was renovated as part of site redevelopment at the turn of the millennium.

Anderson’s husband was the company’s president until 1971; he died in 2000 at age 98; the Seattle Times obituary for Ms. Anderson says she died March 27th and is survived by one of her two daughters and by two grandsons. No details on whether there will be a public memorial, REI told us.

Remembering Peggy A. Cook, 1924-2017

Family and friends are remembering Peggy Cook, 92. Here’s the tribute they’re sharing with the community:

Peggy A. Cook, 12/24/1924 – 03/08/2017

A true friend to everyone and anyone she met.

An adventurist at heart: through person to person interaction, reading accounts of people’s lives or history, and living in communion with nature. A poet, Woman in the Trades (construction), Rosie the Riveter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother … great, great grandmother!

Peggy endured many a challenge in her life, yet always emphasized the good through it all, and held herself accountable for her actions.

She had a positive effect on everyone, and if you believe in “six degrees of separation”, you know she will continue to have a positive effect forever on all of humanity.

In her memory, please pay it forward whenever possible, offer a kind word and touch, and breathe in life through nature and sharing with others.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Services Tuesday for Clement John Chelminiak, 1920-2017

Services are planned Tuesday for Clement John “Chelly” Chelminiak, 96. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing with the community:

Clement John Chelminiak – July 17, 1920 to March 17, 2017

C.J. Chelminiak lived a remarkably American life. He loved his family, his community, and he had a deep faith in God.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, he ran outside to watch the Spirit of St. Louis fly over. That inspired a young man and he worked 42 years at Boeing and was one of Joe Sutter’s “Incredibles” who designed the 747. He enjoyed the Boeing retirees lunch in Renton on Thursdays.

“Chelly” was all about family. He is survived by his children, Paul, Kathy, and John (Lynn Semler). There are four grandchildren, Mindy Simmons, Kelsy Ausland (Aaron), Morgan Tuff, and Megan Chelminiak, and a great-grandchild, William Ausland. His youngest sister Antoinette (Angie) Claxton survives him. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Theresa Chelminiak, brothers Ted and John, and sisters Gertrude McKiel and Sr. Helen Marie C.R.

The greatest commitment of his life was to his wife Gertrude Kroll, who left us much too soon. He wore his wedding ring through more than 30 years of grieving. And now, they are dancing a polka in heaven.

Dad and Mom moved to Seattle toward the end of World War II. They came with son Paul, and soon daughter Kathy arrived; son John arrived at West Seattle Hospital in 1952. They lived in apartments along California Ave. SW, not far from West Seattle High School. They made lifelong friends in those apartments – other families, most of whom worked at Boeing. We spent our major holidays together with those families for several decades.

In 1949, Dad built the family home on Genesee Hill. He remained in the home until days before his death. The neighborhood was his closest family. Growing up, we had water fights, picnics, parties, touch football games and incredible Fourth of July celebrations. Those families grew up and moved out and new families came. Dad made fast and lifelong friends with those families, and they became part of our celebrations. West Seattle was his true home.

His rock was Holy Rosary Church, and he used his engineering skills on many building projects there. His neighbors on Genesee Hill were often his best friends. He loved the mountains, golfing, and Hawaii.

Chelly followed traditions. One of those passed down to all family members is making Polish sausage. It is the heart of all family celebrations. Dad was the master mixer. All of us were the grinders and stuffers.

Services will be Tuesday, March 28, at Holy Rosary Church – West Seattle. Rosary will be at 9:45 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow. A donation to the American Cancer Society is requested in lieu of flowers. Aloha!!

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Celebration of Life next Saturday for Clara J. Haba, 1928-2017

A Celebration of Life for Clara J. Haba, 88, is planned in West Seattle next Saturday (March 25th). Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:

Clara Josephine Haba passed away February 8, 2017, at Keiro Northwest in Seattle.

Born June 29, 1928, the second of six children, to Joseph and Eva Fitterer in New England, ND. The family moved to Yakima, WA, in 1946.

Clara met and married Henry J. Haba on July 3, 1948. Henry and Clara moved to Anchorage, AK, driving their brand-new 1949 Pontiac. She drove in the snow to get her driver’s license.

Clara had many jobs throughout her life. She worked as a waitress, cannery worker, Christmas help at the West Seattle Post Office, retouching photo negatives, modeling clothes from Louise North Apparel at Spencer’s Restaurant in West Seattle. Finally deciding on a career choice, she obtained her GED, then enrolled at the Cosmetology College in West Seattle, graduating at the top of her class in 1966. She then went to work for several major downtown Seattle department stores. Clara had many regular and loyal customers while working at Macy’s, where she retired after 20 years. Always wanting to keep busy, she then worked an additional nine years as the retired nuns’ beautician at the St. Joseph Residence (Providence Mt. St. Vincent). Her own hair seemed to grow upward and a hurricane couldn’t move it.

The family spent early years ice skating at the Civic Ice Arena. Clara was also a sunbather. Then came water-skiing in their 14’ ski boat, mostly at Lake Sammamish. The whole family also learned to snow ski and went on several ski vacations. The whole family in the same ski class should never happen. Only Clara could ski down a hill at such a slow speed and then crash into the lift line. They also traveled throughout the U.S., visiting 25 states and internationally covering 10 countries and seven times to Mexico.

The family lived in 10 different residences, half of which Henry built himself. This is where Clara used her talent for decorating and interior painting. You could come home and find the living room a different color. You would never forget what you look like as there was a mirror in every room. Entertaining, she loved and held many Halloween, Christmas and birthday parties. She was also an accomplished seamstress using her 1952 Singer, sewing everything from a boy’s suit, doll clothes, drapes, to her favorite, tableware and pillows. She was also obsessed with trim, lace and fringe. We all enjoyed listening to her play the piano (by ear). She was known for her stylish wardrobe, high heels and “can’t leave home without lipstick”; a store-bought item would soon be altered with a different look. She had the most beautiful smile.

Clara kept a clean and organized house, making all family meals and “sack” lunches, also famous for her homemade pies and cakes. They belonged to a dance group, which Clara loved. It being potluck, all demanded she bring her baked beans or cabbage rolls.

Clara is preceded in death by her parents (Joe & Eva), son (Eugene), brother (Louis), and sister (Matilda). She is survived by her husband of almost 69 years, Henry, and her daughter, Charlene, both of West Seattle. Also by sister (Viola) of Redmond, WA; brother (Frank & Sharon) of Yakima, WA; and brother (Donald & Pat) of Atlanta, GA; survived by over 30 nieces & nephews and great ones.

Donations in Clara’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Special thanks to Keiro Northwest for the professional and gentle care given to Clara. A Celebration of Life will be held on March 25, 2017, from 2-6 pm at the West Seattle Eagles, 4426 California Ave SW, Seattle. Go to Dignity at forestlawnseattle.com.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

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